This two-day program is designed for folks who are new to the world of eLearning. I’m not new to this industry, but I’m no expert either. I consider myself a proficient practitioner and enjoy dabbling in all aspects of this crazy business. Plus, I can’t think of a better place to spend a Monday than with like-minded fellow eLearners
Why did I choose to attend? I am passionate about learning and I haven’t forgot what it’s like not to know. I’m presenting a couple times this week on topics geared toward beginners in the eLearning industry and I wanted to spend time with these folks. I wanted to get to know them and feel the pulse of what their challenges and struggles are as they muddle through this week and wealth of information.
That being said, the word ‘Intensive’ in the title of this program is no understatement! It was a jam-packed full fast-paced day. Here’s what I learned:
0830 – Marc Rosenberg with Marc Rosenberg and Associates kicked things off with an overview titled, “From Stakeholder to Buy-in to Implementation: Setting a Successful eLearning Strategy.” Marc then followed with a “Setting Your eLearning Strategy Planning Activity” where we (folks at our table) discussed what we just learned. In general, Marc suggested that if we “Drive enrollment without a strategy, it will fall like a house of cards.”
After a break, Clark Quinn (@Quinnovator) with Quinnovation and a member of the Internet Time Alliance presented an “Overview of eLearning Tools and Technology.” Clark asked, “How do we tap into all the tools?” After much mumble from the collective audience, we learned it was a rhetorical question and he answered for us – (paraphrased) “It’s not about how to include ALL the tools, but to address all the spaces tools exist.” The key is not to know all about everything, but to understand how they (tools) work.
The last of the morning sessions was split into two breakouts: Harry Mellon with Dazzle Technologies talked about “Flash, Authorware, and Other Authoring and Development Tools Review” in one room and Patti Shank with Learning Peaks, LLC talked about “Articulate, Captivate, and Other Rapid Tools Review.” I’m fairly proficient in most of the rapid tools so I decided to attend Harry’s session. As I mentioned, I’m not new to this field and was more interested in listening to questions from the audience. I learned about a few more complex and advanced tools I had not known about and am looking forward to researching them further.
Lunch was yummy!
After lunch, we jumped right back into two breakout sessions with Steve Foreman with InfoMedia Designs, Inc. talking about “Infrastructure 101: Getting Started with eLearning LMS/LCMS Technology.” Karen Hyder with Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting / eLearning Guild talked about “Synchronous Tools Review.” I decided to attend Karen’s session as I really didn’t know a lot about synchronous tools as a delivery of eLearning other than being a participant in many webinar sessions. Karen covered all the leading tools today from Adobe Connect to iLink and provided charts, costs, pros and cons. Good stuff! After these two sessions, Marc facilitated another planning activity titled “Setting Your Technology and Tools Planning Activity.” Essentially continued the planning activity by using a worksheet to identify what we learned and what we’re going to go back and tell our bosses we ‘need’ to do!
By 3:00 PM, Brent Schenkler (@bschenkler) with The eLearning Guild got things wound up (as only Brent can do) by giving a very informative and entertaining talk on “Learning 2.0: An Overview of New Technologies.” The major concern from the audience here was general consensus that company leaders won’t adopt. Brent’s response was showing a slide with a quote from 1907 where “they” said the pencil will never replace pen and ink either! Instead of jumping into the fire, simply light a few small candles to get folks used to the idea and let them know the world isn’t going to end.
Closing out the day was the third block of breakout sessions with Clark Quinn talking about “mLearning: An Introduction to Mobile Learning” and Brent Schenkler now talking about “Social Media, Social Learning, and Collaborative Technologies.” I decided to attend Brent’s session because the buzz about social media seems to be the ‘shiny new object’ in everyone’s line of sight and wanted to get a feel for what the audience thought about this subject. I wasn’t let down as Brent wasn’t able to finish is planned presentation due to the engaging conversations. Mostly the same as his earlier talk that leadership, HR, Legal, IT, etc. are all the big obstacles.
Marc wrapped things up right at 5:00 PM with an invitation to two optional breakout sessions (labs) for folks to get some hands-on with some of the tools. Patti Shank facilitated a lab for “Rapid Tools Hands-On Lab” and Karen Hyder facilitated a lab for “Synchronous Tools Hands-On Lab.”
Cammy Bean (@cammybean) and Steve Rayson from Kineo had just arrived by then. They were hungry from traveling all day and they graciously allowed me to dine with them. Ravioli J
A full day and another one scheduled for tomorrow. My head hurts!